The Department of Veterans Affairs has identified legal services as one of the most significant unmet needs of homeless and poor veterans. The University of South Carolina's School of Law recently opened a free, veterans legal clinic to address this demand.
The clinic is located on the third floor of the law school, open from 9am to 5pm weekdays and follows the university's holiday schedule. Walk-ins are welcome, but director Clyde Gore, Jr. recommends making an appointment.
“We always tell people, although we do take walk-ins, it’s always better to call first. The two criteria are, low income or what would be considered an indigent veteran, and then one of the four legal areas of the law that we’re helping you with.”
The idea for the clinic came from a 2016 national symposium on veterns' access to justice. The symposium was hosted by the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough Center on Professionalism. In a statement, Law Dean Robert M. Wilcox shared why he committed the law school to get invovled.
"Hearing from national experts about the scope of legal struggles our veterans face was a pivotal moment for me. I knew this was an area where we could make a big impact for our community and state, while also providing a whole new clinical experience for students."
The initial work of the clinic is funded by a grant from the South Carolina Bar Foundation and the Boeing Company. Veterans interested in learning if their legal problem can be solved by the clinic, can call 803-777-2278 or complete the intake form onthe clinic's webpage.